If you are a business owner, or just starting up a new business, you certainly know by now that you have a lot of decisions to make. Any choices that you make now can affect your company for years to come. Choosing the right IT setup is one of those. If you plan on having more than a few workers and doing some intense processing with your computers, you will have to decide whether to go with cluster computing or a mainframe computer.
If your place of business is just a simple office with a few employees, you may not have a need for high performance computing. Maintaining a simple database, running a few software programs, sending e-mails and having a small network is not anything that a traditional setup cannot handle.
On the other hand, if your industry requires intensive data mining, the handling of statistics and heavy number crunching, you will need the appropriate processing power. Both kinds written about in this article can provide that kind of performance.
One difference between the mainframe and the cluster is the cost. The former is considerably more expensive. The latter is more of a “pay as you go” system, meaning that you only add what you need now and can add more later as you need the additional performance.
You could say that opting for a mainframe computer is more of a commitment. That’s not to say that it is bad, just that it is expensive. Cluster computing is less costly because it is based on traditional desktop computers that are linked together to combine their performance.
If your company is going to be massive and grow quickly, a mainframe computer may be the only way for you to go. On the other hand, if you expect growth but at a slower pace, you best option may be cluster computing. That way you can add more processing power as your company needs it.